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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Daw End canal.

We set off down the Anglesey Branch. We didn't meet another boat and there were few people on the tow path even.

On the way to Ogley Junction.

We were soon at Ogley Junction and under the Anglesey Bridge. This was just at the junction where the Wyrley and Essington Canal continued on.

I love the cast iron name plate and it is interesting to note that the date of 1850 is when the Birmingham Canal Navigation merged with the Wyrley and Essington Canal.

We were soon at Catshill Junction which was the start of Daw End Branch Canal.

This has been the most industrial section of the canals round the BCN so far. Having said that it was still very green. In the past there had been many collieries and sandpits etc. There has been so much subsidence that the canal is now about 30' above the surrounding land and in the past the banks had to regularly heightened. There was a huge sand pit that is still being filled with the waste of the area. However it was still a very big hole! This part was also the most shallow and narrowest part of the canal.

It was a good thing that the canal isn't too busy as we would never have past in this section.

The last couple of miles of today's trip was out into the country again and you could have been on any of the better traveled canals. The Daw End Branch canal ended at the Hay Head Limestone Mine. Unusually that limestone was mined from underground and had been for a long time. The limestone was taken to the owners iron works at Bradley and Bilston. The rock was a very good quality. There were also lime kilns here.

The end of the Daw End Branch was up the cut in the centre of the picture where it went into the limestone workings. It wasn't until the merger of the Birmingham Canal Navigation and the Wyrley and Essington Canal in 1840. The construction did not start straight away as the company thought better of it but the Government had to remind them that money they had given to assist the merger would have to be paid back if the new canal wasn't constructed. The new canal was called the Rushall Canal and joins with the Tame Valley canal after 3 miles and nine locks.

Hay Head Mine Terminus. There is not much to see now, especially as there most of it was below ground. We walked round the Hay Head area as it is now a nature reserve. When we got back I washed and polished the side whilst Helen baked biscuits and a cake.

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